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Results tagged “Wedel” from Science Careers Blog

Earlier in the month, we reported on President Obama's online conversation with Jennifer Wedel, the wife of an unemployed engineer.  The president expressed surprise at Wedel's 3-year effort to find work because, he said, industrial leaders have told him "they don't have enough highly skilled engineers."

We have belatedly learned that the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column has examined the president's claims about the employment situation in engineering and given him One Pinocchio for his comments to Mrs. Wedel.  The Post's Pinocchio Scale ranges from one Pinocchio for "Some shading of the facts.  Selective telling of the truth.  Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods." The Post awards four Pinocchios for "whoppers."

The employment outlook in the semiconductor industry, where Mr. Wedel worked, looks "bleak heading into 2020, and the president should have known that,"  the Fact Checker writes.  The president earned his Pinocchio "for suggesting that demand remains high for engineers in high-tech industries.  He can't gloss over this area of unemployment."

As we have noted several times, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is a leading critic of the H-1B visa and the co-sponsor, along with Senator Dick Durban (D-Illinois), of a bill to reform and tighten the rules governing the high-skill temporary visa. Grassley is also the Ranking Member -- the senior member of the minority party -- of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. On 7 February he sent a letter to President Obama about the response the president gave last week to the plight of Mrs. Jennifer Wedel, the wife of an unemployed Texas engineer, during an online town meeting.

We recently reported on an article in Salon, a site well know for its liberal, pro-Democratic views, that discusses the politics of President Obama's conversation with Jennifer Wedel, who is  currently the nation's most famous wife of an unemployed engineer.  In the interests of journalistic even-handedness, we'd also like to draw your attention to a piece by Mark Krikorian that appears on the conservative, pro-Republican National Review Online (NRO).

Though it's said here in Washington that the two ends of the political spectrum can't agree on what day of the week it is, these two articles have a lot in common.  Where Salon speaks of "Obama's high-tech labor lies,"  NRO cites the "phony 'missile-gap' style panic about U.S. competitiveness created by lobbyists for tech companies that desire cheap labor."

Right and left seeing nearly eye-to-eye on an important issue?  You heard it here first!

Ever since President Obama's spoke with Jennifer Wedel, the Texas woman whose engineer husband has been unemployed for 3 years, during an online "town hall" last week, the internet has been alive with comments about the president's apparently puzzled reaction to her husband's plight.  Over at Salon today, in an article titled "Obama's high-tech labor lies," David Sirota offers an explanation of  the politics the situation.  To wit: Why would a president who proclaims himself devoted to American technological and scientific progress and prides himself on his policy prowess appear ignorant of some pretty basic economic realities?  And why would his press secretary, who had time to check the fact, repeat the same line?

(PS.  I, like a number of other writers, have misspelled the Wedel's name.  My apologies.)